October 29, 2014


The Continuing Story of a Strongly Divided Electorate (Alan J. Borsuk, 10/29/14,  Marquette Law School)

The main new story out of the event, of course, was how Republican Gov. Scott Walker was leading Democratic challenger Mary Burke by 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. That was an attention-grabbing shift from the Law School Poll results of two weeks ago, when the race was a straight-up tie. Franklin said the difference, in large part, had to do with supporters of Walker showing substantially increased commitment to voting, while supporters of Burke were showing slightly increased commitment. It's all about turn-out, he said. In fact, among all registered voters in the poll - and that sample included 1,409 people - Walker held only a one point advantage over Burke, 46 percent to 45 percent. But not all registered voters are going to turn out, of course.

Scott Walker limps toward 2016 (Alexander Burns, October 29, 2014, Politico)

The politician who confidently lectured Mitt Romney in 2012 ("He has to say that I'm a reformer like Scott Walker," Walker told The Weekly Standard) has tumbled into yet another fight for his political life. Far from a conservative Clark Kent, Walker is visibly straining in the closing days of his race against Mary Burke, a wealthy former Trek Bicycle executive and member of the Madison School Board.

If Walker survives once more on Tuesday, it will represent another win for the divide-and-conquer strategy he has used since 2010 to become the dominant political figure in this traditionally Democratic state. It will also mark a downward revision of Walker's own aspirations: Instead of realigning Wisconsin behind a new vision for conservative reform -- and perhaps vaulting himself into the White House in the process -- Walker is struggling to assemble a bare majority that will keep him in the job he has.

At campaign stops this week, the 46-year-old Walker shouted himself hoarse defending his record on job creation, an unexpectedly contentious point in his record. Coughing into his left hand while greeting voters with the right, Walker wore a bandage on one thumb -- from a hunting accident, he said -- and shocked his allies in Washington by complaining openly that the national GOP hasn't done enough to help his campaign.

Posted by at October 29, 2014 5:46 PM

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